Need some new epic Pagan, Folk and Viking metal bands to listen to? Look no further than “Tales From The Southern Realm”, a compilation featuring 8 of Australia’s finest crop of bands in all sub genres of folk metal. Prior to the August 22nd release date, I was able to speak with Karl French (drummer for the mighty Saralisse and mastermind behind this project) to find out the details of the bands, the idea to this this and few other tidbits……check it out…..
Jeff (folk-metal.nl): Karl, congratulations of this epic compilation you have put together….have you gotten any feedback (besides our review) on it yet?
“At the moment we have a few sites working on doing reviews but as many of the bands have been very secretive with their tracks we haven’t had a lot of feedback as yet other than the few friends / fans that we have shown it to. We have tried to keep the songs from leaking so we have kept it to only a select few places we are sharing it with before its release so the tracks can premier on this cd.”
What inspired you to do this? Was there a single defining moment or something you have been thinking about doing for a while?
“Honestly, I’m a fan of all these bands, even my own. Even before I joined Saralisse I was helping them book gigs alongside some of these bands and I just wanted to show the rest of the world that although we may have a backward minded lizard king overlord for a prime minister we are still just as good as the rest of the world when it comes to producing some top quality metal. Guys like Lagerstein, Troldhaugen and Claim the Throne are already forging great international fan bases and I’d like to see the same thing happen for the bands on this CD.”
What were some of the major challenges in getting this put together?
“Honestly I couldn’t have had a better group of bands. They all had the vision from day one and worked really hard to make sure we are putting out a top quality product. Everyone worked to schedule and it helped to form a tighter knit community between ourselves, there’s even discussions of taking this lineup and doing “live from the southern realm” tour shows together. I also have to say I could not have asked for a more cooperative artist working on this CD. Roel worked hard and made countless edits until we ended up with the final product.”
How did you decide which bands would be on this collection? Were there more bands than the 8 that appear that were supposed to be on it and didn’t make it on for one reason or another?
“There were plenty of options for bands and the main reason these bands were chosen was because we’re all bands of about the same “level” and we are all different from each other musically. At one point or another ive played with most of these bands and felt they all had something unique to exhibit when representing “Australian folk metal” While yes, we all play folk metal, there’s plenty of variety on the CD. Some bands have missed out on this CD but their turn is coming.”
The bands are all very diverse on this release….are they all folk metal in your opinion or other genres?
“Folk metal” is really just the banner we’ve all seemed to have fallen under. Every band has their own distinct sound and influences. If you want to get right into it some of the bands could be considered more “blackened folk metal” others more “symphonic folk metal” but what it really comes down to is that its 8 great bands putting out some fantastic music and I can safely say that no matter what folk metal sound you’re into there is something on this CD for you!”
The Stormtide track was reviewed by us earlier this year and I know the Trollgasm track is brand new…..are the tracks on here both a mix of already recorded songs as well as ones recorded specifically for this?
“Stormtide reworked their track “As two worlds collide” and is the version you will hear on their upcoming album release and Wrath of Fenrir have put a track on the CD from their first EP but otherwise all the other tracks are completely brand new never before released songs. Some are just singles others are tracks from upcoming releases from the bands. It’s like a tasting platter for what all these bands are going to do in the near future.”
It seems that Australia has a pretty decent folk metal scene…..how many different acts are out down there playing folk metal?
“To my best knowledge there would be 20-30 that I am aware of. The folk scene down here has had a real shot in the arm in the last few years thanks to touring companies bringing out bands like Korrpiklaani, Eluveitie, Finntroll, Alestorm and Gloryhammer. Some of the “bands” out here are one man projects or project bands but there are still a solid number of live acts and some great success stories to come out of the Australian folk metal scene.”
Speaking for all of the bands, is touring Australia a major challenge? Have any of the bands toured outside Australia?
“Bands from this CD, no. But, I know of at least one of the bands on this CD that is planning to take an overseas trip soon for some shows. The hope is that this CD will act as a gateway to getting more overseas recognition for the bands and hopefully lead into opportunities opening up for everyone to get out there and tour. Tour companies if you’re reading this get in touch!”
From a production point of view, were the tracks basically done and then put together or did you have to have some mixing and production done to put this together?
“All the bands took care of recording mixing mastering and production of their own tracks the only things that we’re done by anyone else was some basic volume adjustment to ensure that the cd all come out the same volume. Many of the bands kept it very independent recording in home studios and handling the process in house.”
Are there plans for a part 2 of the compilation? Do you have bands lined up for it already?
“Tales from the Southern Realm II: Set Sail for the Southern Realm” is already in the works with new bands and is planned to be released early next year. I can’t say too much about the lineup yet as I’m keeping it under wraps until all the details are finalized but I can say a very special project band will be on the CD featuring appearances from many of the musicians from the first cd.”
Any closing thoughts?
“Please support this release; it’s a free download so share it with as many people as you can. All the bands have done a fantastic job and I’m very proud that we can put out something this good for the world to hear. I want to thank everyone involved in it and Folk-metal.nl for the support. Spread the word and come August 22 be sure to get yourself a copy and keep an eye out for “Tales from the Southern Realm II: Set Sail for the Southern Realm” in 2016.”